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Mandolin Lessons: More Little Maggie Soloing Ideas

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[MUSIC]
>> Okay.
Now we're gonna take the tune Little
Maggie and I'll grace it with my.
[COUGH] My lovely vocal skills here for
you.
And then I'm gonna try to help you figure
out how to solo
over a simple tune like that.
And the cool thing about Little Maggie is
it has very similar chord changes to
both Salt Creek and June Apple.
So, we're gonna try and deconstruct those
tunes or
those micro licks that exist as part of
the melody of those tunes.
And insert them into Little Maggie, as
material to use as soloing material.
So let's get Little Maggie first.
[MUSIC]
So we can get it in our heads.
>> One, two, three.
[MUSIC]
>> All right.
So you have this very simple A chord.
[MUSIC]
And then you go to a G chord.
[MUSIC]
And you go back to the A chord.
[MUSIC]
Then the E chord and back to the A.
[MUSIC]
So
if we go all the way back to Salt Creek.
[MUSIC]
You remember this.
[MUSIC]
So
there's some phrases in there we can use.
Particularly, this one that's on the G
chord.
[MUSIC]
So we're gonna use a little piece of that.
[MUSIC]
In, when it goes to the G chord of the
Little Maggie.
So let's have the rhythm guitar one more
time just a little piece of it.
>> One, two, three.
[MUSIC]
>> So these three notes are part of the G
reality, the harmonic G reality and they
can be played any number of rhythmic ways.
In Salt Creek it's.
[MUSIC]
But for Little Maggie you might.
[MUSIC]
You know,
play it rhythmically a little bit
different.
The other cool thing that happens in Salt
Creek is we went up to third position.
[MUSIC]
Let
me see if I can work a little bit of that
into Little Maggie.
So when you're on the A chord [NOISE]
you're playing off this A note
[NOISE] third position.
[MUSIC]
The A the B and the C-sharp.
[MUSIC]
And the F-sharp.
[MUSIC]
And the E.
[MUSIC]
This is a whole sorta little region
that you can solo out of.
You can play in any rhythmic or
melodic [NOISE] thing you wanna play out
of that position.
And when you shift down to G [NOISE] you
just shift everything down two frets.
And you've got another little area that
you can work out of.
[NOISE] So, let's have the rhythm again
for Little Maggie and
I'll try to work some of that in.
Now, I'm kinda leaving the melody of
Little Maggie at this point also.
We're kinda going into a more
free-floating approach to
improvising where it's no longer
referencing the melody as directly.
>> One, two, three.
[MUSIC]
>> So if you noticed what I did that last
time, I created a little rhythmic pattern.
[MUSIC]
And I just brought it down.
[MUSIC]
And
then I continued it [NOISE] in the A
reality.
[MUSIC]
A, F-Sharp, and, and I, E, F-sharp and A.
[MUSIC]
Then I needed a little turn around lick.
[MUSIC]
And it could be any number of things.
[MUSIC]
Or.
[MUSIC]
So you see we've got this little zone.
[MUSIC]
And
we've set up something melodic that has a
rhythmic flow to it.
And now we continue it.
The, the listener always wants to have
something like that, that creates blocks
of melodic and rhythmic information to tie
one idea to another.
Even though the chords are changing, the
melodic material stays the same.
And it's just, it's really pleasing to a
listener when you're improvising,
if you can create moments like that.
[MUSIC]
I'll try another.
[MUSIC]
One more.
[MUSIC]
One more, what the heck.
[MUSIC]
All right.
[SOUND] Hope this helps you find your way
improvising over these vocal tunes.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
>> Okay.
I'd like to expand a little more on the,
the concept of soloing over
Little Maggie here and give you some other
ways of thinking about it.
Beyond taking little melodic fragments out
of your fiddle tunes.
You should also be thinking about the
notes of the chord like.
[MUSIC]
Everybody knows by now this classic
Bluegrass
[MUSIC]
A chord.
[MUSIC]
If you take the A note on the third
string.
[MUSIC]
The C-Sharp on the second string and
the E note.
[MUSIC]
On the second string, seventh fret.
[MUSIC]
And the [NOISE] fifth fret, first string.
[MUSIC]
Just those notes.
Those are the notes of the chord.
A is the one.
[MUSIC]
C-Sharp is your third.
[MUSIC]
E is your fifth.
[MUSIC]
And
A up here on the first string is also your
root.
[MUSIC]
There's another seventh [NOISE] the flat
seventh that is just down from the root.
[MUSIC]
So,
I want you to think about that as a block
[NOISE] of harmonic material.
[MUSIC]
We're going to be working on this little
arpeggio is what its called.
[MUSIC]
So as a soloist,
you should be thinking of those as kind of
target notes at any given point.
Notes that you can build your solo around.
[MUSIC]
So
the melody itself will use typically these
notes.
One of these notes in the melody, because
it corresponds to the harmony of,
[NOISE] of the tune at that moment.
So what's cool to do is.
[MUSIC]
Of course, learn the melody first.
[MUSIC]
I always recommend that to people.
But [NOISE] think about the chords of the
tune.
[MUSIC]
So
for this period of A, really play out of
this block.
[MUSIC]
And then the next period is G.
[MUSIC]
And
you'll play out of the same series of
notes.
[MUSIC]
But this time,
it is down two frets [NOISE] and it is a G
[NOISE] arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
So play me a little bit of that rhythm
guitar and I'll give you an example of how
I might use these notes and
create melodic material with them.
>> One, two, three, and.
[MUSIC]
>> So again, I'm trying to find little
rhythmic fabrics,
fragments that I can play an A and then
play the same fragment in G.
And then go back to something new a second
time and
that gives your solo a kind of form.
I'm not sticking strictly [NOISE] to those
notes.
You may have noticed that I inserted the
fourth note of the scale.
[MUSIC]
The D note, as a passing note.
[MUSIC]
And that's always a passing note it's,
it's not usually on a, [NOISE] on a heavy
rhythmic downbeat of any of the chords.
It's always best to land on one of the
three chord tones on a strong beat.
So, use that as a, as a reference and
that again makes the listener hear that
you're hearing
the chords at each moment in the tune the
melody itself.
[MUSIC]
Has that beautiful root and
it jumps up to the A.
[MUSIC]
So
its kinda cool to use that, [NOISE] that E
note from the A.
[MUSIC]
That E note, I would add the high A to it.
[MUSIC]
That's a classic, you know,
Bluegrass sound.
[MUSIC]
It gives it a real lot, lot of power and
it's just a fifth and a root and just cuts
through the sound of the band.
[MUSIC]
Now, it's time for a tag.
[MUSIC]
Or.
[MUSIC]
So, let's go again with the guitar and
I'll show you how to use this, this route
in fifth [NOISE] concept.
>> One, two, three and.
[MUSIC]
>> Okay.
And I just introduced.
And on that last one, I just introduced
for
the first time a little chromatic riff.
Chromatic is when you play all the notes
between two notes.
[SOUND] I played from the C-Sharp to the
D, to the D-Sharp, to the E.
So just working from the third to the
fifth and filling it in.
It's also a classic Monroe sound.
[MUSIC]
And I'm using it as a tag.
[MUSIC]
Do it a couple times slow for you.
All right.
Hopes this helps you find some new
thoughts about how to play over
Little Maggie.
Okay.
Now, it's your turn.
I'd love to hear you solo over Little
Maggie now and
using some of these concepts we just
worked on.
Some of that third position stuff, having
a repeated phrase.
We worked on arpeggios of the A chord and
the G chord.
And also, the little chromatic run from
the C-Sharp to the E.
Let's see if you can work that into a solo
and
send me something that I can help you out
with.
[MUSIC]